How to Find Divorce Records in Texas
Helping You Keep Track of These Important Divorce Documents
Every 13 seconds, there is a divorce in the U.S. This adds up to 277 divorces per hour, 6,646 divorces per day, 46,523 divorces per week, and 2,419,196 divorces per year. It would be nice to simply leave the past behind you, but this is not always possible. For situations like remarriage, many states and countries require a copy of the divorce papers in order to issue a new marriage license. Keeping copies of divorce-related paperwork can also be helpful for tax purposes as well as child and spousal support. See below the papers you will want to keep after a divorce:
- The final judgment of divorce (divorce decree)
The final judgment of divorce papers, also called the divorce decree, is a formal order from the court that grants the termination of the marriage. If a divorce is contested and results in a trial, the judge then issues a judgment that is confirmed when the decree is signed and dated by the family court judge and the clerk of court. This document also contains the final disposition of divorce-related issues. This can include custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, and the division of assets and debts. You will want to obtain at least one copy of the divorce judgment that has a court seal to verify its authenticity. At some point in the future, you might be required to submit the sealed copy to certain agencies like the Social Security Administration or your state’s division of motor vehicles.
Anyone who has been through a divorce knows that the process deals with much more than separation of a couple. There are also assets that need to be divided, including division of property. When you go through a divorce, you will usually need an appraisal of the property held by one or both partners to set the value of the real estate that might need to be divided as part of the divorce property settlement. This kind of appraisal is typically called a divorce appraisal. Additional assets that usually need to be appraised include retirement accounts like pensions and 401(k)s. If the non-owning spouse is entitled to a portion of a retirement account, the court will order a preparation of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to protect their interest. In these types of cases, it is necessary to keep track of the appraisal documents to make plans to divide the assets.
- Financial documents
Divorces involve steps like mandatory preliminary disclosures and a divorce discovery process. Throughout these processes, spouses need to exchange information and documents that are pertinent to the divorce. These documents are mainly financial and are needed to divide property and to set an amount for financial support. Relevant documents might include tax returns, canceled checks, bank statements, and credit card statements. It is advisable to keep track of this financial paperwork for tax purposes and in order to pay or receive child or spousal support. You will want to be prepared for the possibility that one spouse might go for a modification of that support. Having the paperwork to demonstrate the financials at the time of the order will expedite that step of the process.
- Other documents
If you were required to provide a marriage certificate to the court during divorce, you will want to make sure you get that back. If the marriage was longer than ten years, the chances are higher that one spouse will be able to collect the other spouse’s Social Security. If this is the case, the Social Security Administration will need a copy of the marriage certificate to certify the duration of the marriage. You will also want to keep copies of the court orders issued during the divorce. This can include temporary child or spousal support and temporary custody or parenting time. If there are problems surrounding these topics in the future, you will want to have these documents at your ready.
Locating Your Divorce Records in Texas
Because divorce is considered a matter of family court in the state of Texas, many documents pertaining to divorce cases are filed and held in the county clerk’s office. In order to obtain a divorce record or marriage record in Texas, the parties requesting it must go through the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (TDHHS). The TDHHS can provide a list of county clerks, registrars, and local record issuers through their records website. Records are available at the facility that the document was created. Divorce records can also be found online through the Texas Vital Statistics verification website or through the Report of Divorce or Annulment Indexes at the TDHHS website. Government public record search portals and third-party public record website can both provide court records search tools, which can help find divorce records.
What Do Lawyers Do with Documents?
When you work with an experienced family law firm like The Clark Law Firm, it will be much easier to keep track of your legal documents. We will make sure that you are aware of what is happening throughout the entire process, which will make it easier for you to remember which documents you need to organize. We will also make it easy for you to prepare the documents we need for the case. Specific documents will help us plead your case during the divorce and help us produce an outcome that is in your favor. The court needs to comprehend the financial situations surrounding the divorce in order to consider factors like child support, alimony, and property division. We will help you keep track of documents related to income, real estate, joint financial accounts, life insurance, marital debts, pension funds, and automobiles. We will make sure you have these documents ready and we will make the documentation process comprehensive. When your paperwork is in good hands, the divorce process will feel much less stressful.
To learn more about how The Clark Law Firm can help organize your divorce process and the documents that come with it, call us at (817) 435-4970 or contact us online.